Hardware Design Projects

170A High-Voltage Bias Cell-Level I-V Tracer

The 170A is used in the study of potential-induced degradation (PID) of photovoltaic cells. The tracer allows for the application of a high voltage bias of -1000Vdc to up to 8 cells held at short-circuit current. Leakage is measured (in nanoamperes, nA) along with cell temperature and irradiance. Tracing occurs every few minutes, 24-hours a day, allowing for the determination of shunt resistance changes along with changes to key I-V curve parameters using current and 4-wire voltage measurements. Sweep range of -0.5V to +1.0V, 0-15A.

[In-Use Image of 170A] 

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 170A.

140A In-Line String-Level I-V Tracer (Series III)

[In-Use Image of 140A2]  [Image of 140A2]

Now in its third iteration, the 140A Series III expands upon Pordis’ original model 140A string level I-V tracer by delivering more 1000V/15A channels, Modbus sensor capabilities, and expanded configuration options. The Series III system takes the best of our successful original version and adds capabilities desired by commercial and academic research entities.

Designed for use on active, energy-generating strings, the 140A Series III tracer is expandable from 8 channels on the base system to a total of 32 channels, each rated to 1000V and 15A, through the addition of optional expansion units. Pordis’ patent-pending hybrid switch technology carries over to the Series III system and continues to allow each string to be removed from its array, traced, and re-inserted into the array within ~100ms and without tripping inverters equipped with high-frequency arc fault detection.

Base Unit Hardware Features
  • Capacitive load using Pordis’ patent-pending hybrid switch technology which does not trip inverters that use high-frequency arc fault detection
  • 8 to 32 isolated string channels allow for operation with multiple inverters or at multiple locations within a field (see options: 8-channel base system with up to three 8-channel expansion units per system)
  • 1000V/15A per string (15kW per string): 480kW total system capacity
  • On-board irradiance measurement channel configurable for silicon pyranometers (0-8mV) or reference cells (0-80mV)
  • On-board auxiliary (0-3.3V) measurement channel for user-provided voltage-output sensors
  • NEMA 4 enclosure (24” x 30” x 8”) with door safety interlock and visual indicators
  • Ethernet connectivity to web interface and internal databases
  • Battery backup of Linux computer (system requires DC 24V/1A)
  • Modbus RS485 capability included (see list of supported sensors)
Software Features
  • Web interface for queue and system control, data and trace review and system calibration
  • Triggering queue supports complex and flexible options with date-, time-, irradiance-,and Modbus-based triggers; supports user-selectable daily repeat traces and time interval between traces
  • User-configurable site and string information
  • On-board step-by-step field calibration (external hardware required)
  • On-board electronic manuals and reference guides
  • 10 API data download channels; 2 FTP data upload channels
  • NTP time synchorization

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 140A series of I-V curve tracers.

140B Solar Variability Datalogger

[In-Use Image of 140B]  [Image of 140B]
[Image of 140B]  [Image of 140B]

Originally developed for Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the 140B is a compact, battery-operated datalogger specifically tailored for long-term solar variability analysis and reporting. Solar variability analysis examines the rate of change in irradiance in either the global horizontal or plane-of-array orientation at a site. You can use this data to improve forecast models and enhance the understanding of the influence of PV on the electric grid.

The 140B SVD combines irradiance measurements, data aggregation, datalogging, GPS position and time measurements, wireless and serial communications, and energy harvesting in a compact, field-deployable unit.

SensorMonocrystalline silicon solar cell
WindowBorosilicate glass
Data1-second irradiance and ramp rate (via serial)
30-second irradiance averages and 1-second ramp rate distributions stored internally and transmitted daily at sunset (Wi-Fi and cellular to Pordis' data portal; serial)
Onboard Memory4-months of continuous measurements
Location and TimeGPS receiver for location and time synchronization
CommunicationsBuilt-in Wi-Fi modem and serial port; optional cellular modem
LevelingBuilt-in tilt sensor and LED level indicators
External ControlsNone - Interaction is through a non-contact magnetic sensor
EnvironmentalIP67 rated enclosure and connectors
Designed for –10°C to 85°C operation
PowerOn-board lithium primary battery
Energy harvesting into super capacitor to augment battery

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 140B.

150A Low-Voltage Battery Protection Accessory

[In-Use Image of 150A]  [Image of 150A]

Lead-acid batteries, such as found in the Campbell Scientific PS100, may be permanently damaged if discharged below 10.5V. Discharge protection does not exist in the PS100. Add low cost, critical low-voltage protection to your existing PS100 with Pordis’ easy-to-install model 150A battery protection accessory.

The 150A disconnects the battery from the PS100 whenever the measured battery voltage drops below 11.0 ± 0.1V and reconnects the battery when the voltage rises above 11.5 ± 0.1V, sufficiently protecting the battery from damaging discharge. All 150A devices are 100% tested for functionality before shipment and as-tested voltage thresholds are labeled on each device. Custom threshold voltages are available upon request at the time of order.

The 150A has been evaluated by, and are in use at, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

Hardware Features
  • Microprocessor-controlled operation
  • Ultra-low quiescent current of < 320μA
  • 0.5V guard-band eliminates connection oscillation
  • Bi-color LED provides a visual indication of operational state
  • Molex connectors ensure quick and easy plug-in installation
  • Adhesive backing for clean, professional installation

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 150A.

160A Power Reset Accessory

[In-Use Image of 160A]  [Image of 160A]

Data acquisition system sensors and peripherals occasionally require a power reset to recover from communications or other internal issues. This is especially problematic for devices in remote or difficult-to-access locations. A predictable power-off reset of these devices may eliminate or limit data loss and reduce on-site response to these occurrences.

The 160A is a plug-in, periodic reset device for data loggers and peripherals equipped with standard 0.2” polarized connectors, and may be used on other equipment with adapters (available).

Simply place the 160A between the power supply and the device to enable the predictable, periodic daily power reset of the connected device.

Hardware Features
  • Voltage range: 4-28 VDC
  • Current limit: ≤ 3A
  • Microprocessor-controlled operation
  • Ultra-low quiescent current of < 220μA
  • Bi-color LED provides a visual indication of operational state and time until next reset (nominally every 8 seconds)
  • Default reset cycle: 2-second power off every 24 hours.
  • Custom modifications to reset duration and indication rate are possible.

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 160A.

180A RTD Adapter for ICP-DAS M-7019R

[In-Use Image of 180A] 

When an RTD needs to be coupled with other analog sensors within a data acquisition system, a single DAS module may be insufficient. The 180A allows up to 8 RTDs to be used with the ICP-DAS M-7019R data acquisition module. It supports 2-, 3- and 4-wire configurations at 100 or 1000 ohms. Bypass switches allow for direct connection of other analog sensors (pyranometers, etc.) to the M-7019R inputs.

Please contact Pordis to obtain further information about the 180A.

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING ALL CONTRACTS: In most instances we will require a discussion about your use case and in general will only enter into a design contract with the final end user of the product. We do not sell anything through distributors nor to parties whom are not the final end user. Our policy is that all I-V tracers must remain within the United States with the understanding that they are effectively prototypes and may not always operate as intended, possibly resulting in damage due to the high energies involved. Contact us with questions.